Respond by Buffer is a social media monitoring tool that is designed to facilitate the kind of ultra-responsive support services that social media users expect.
Businesses are being encouraged to make social media a part of their overall marketing effort – quite rightly so in most cases – but it is often not fully understood just how much of an overhead this could represent.
Respond by Buffer is clearly targeted at in-house social media support teams
The main problem most businesses have when they open themselves up on social media is the fact that their followers, fans and customers are probably located across the globe in different timezones and, by the nature of the social media expected modus operandi, they expect to receive a quick response to any queries or complains that they might raise using social media as their channel for doing so.
As the size of the audience grows, so too does the number of such interactions. Businesses then need to start monitoring closely every social channel they are active on in order to catch any mentions, questions or comments about their business and, where appropriate, respond to them in a timely manner.
Worse still, your business may also be mentioned on channels that you are not currently active on, which increases the potential workload exponentially.
There are several services out there that will monitor social media for you and report any mentions so that you, or they, can respond accordingly. Respond is a bit different in that it is a service that many people who are active on social media already know, reconise and trust – Buffer.
What Respond by Buffer does in essence is put all of your social customer support requests, currently from Facebook and Twitter, in one location. It then turns those Twitter and Facebook mentions, direct
messages and searches into support tickets, bringing everything together in inbox to which the approriate people in your organisation will have access to.
The only real disappointment for me was the limited number of platforms supported. True, Facebook and Twitter do probably acount for the lion’s share of online interactions from social media that most businesses are likely to receive but there are others that need to be in the mix, not least of which being LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Whatsapp. I note from Respond’s very useful “roadmap” thast all of these are under consideration at the time of writing.
Respond, by Buffer, is in its infancy but it is the offspring of Buffer, a very effective operator in the field of social media marketing, so we are expecting great things to come.
As for now, there’s a free 15 day trial which I advise you to take before making any purchasing decisions. The reason i say that is that the price of this platform is quite hefty considering its currently limited scope, i.e. Facebook and Twitter only. If you want all of the features then the onboard price for an entry level account would be $260/month or $216/month if billed annually in full. That buys you just 1 user and 2 profiles, eg Twitter and Facebook. There is a lower level “Professional” plan starting at $60/month but that plan does not include Social Listening, thereby rendering it next-to-useless in my opinion.